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RunningYesterday I ran the City 2 Surf. A 14km “fun” run in Sydney. I didn’t do any preparation in the lead up to the event. The only training I did do was an occasional short run, but nothing to prepare me for the challenge of city 2 surf. It is a very hilly race, in the middle there is a 1km steep ascent called ‘heartbreak hill’. Let me tell you, it lives up to the name! So not only was I nervous about physically being able to tackle this challenge but mentally I didn’t want to get a bad time. I wanted to be like all the other runners, who effortlessly (well it seemed effortless to me) took on this 14km beast. This got me thinking about comparing ourselves with others. We do it so often but it is a really unproductive mindset to have. Which is why I thought I’d discuss it for this blog post.

Have you ever looked at someone else and thought ‘why can’t I have what they have?’ I know I certainly have. It’s a very easy and seemingly natural thing to do. For instance, I have huge visions for my business. I have goals and dreams. A lot of the time, they feel so big and so far removed from where I am now. I start to think ‘am I ever going to get there?’ To make matters worse, I then look at people who are already kicking amazing goals. They are out there doing the do and are experiencing incredible results. Of course I am happy for them and wish them nothing but joy and success. There is a part of me that starts drawing comparisons. I call it ‘compare-itis’. It’s like a sickness – it doesn’t feel great and the longer it stays in your head, the harder it is to remove. But remove it we must, my dears, because being in that mindset isn’t doing us any favours.

So here are my 3 top tips for overcoming ‘compare-itis’:

  1. Recognise your uniqueness. When we compare, we look for things that are the same. Acknowledging how you are different will instantly break the comparison. All of a sudden, the other person is so UNLIKE you and your own results will be so different.
  2. It’s all about your own journey. When we start to compare with others, we look at what they have right now. We discount what it took for them to get there, all the hard work and the late nights. It might seem effortless but it never is. So understand that they are just further along their journey than you are. Trust that you are exactly where you need to be on your own journey.
  3. Learn from them. Take this opportunity to see what they have done, how they have done it and whether or not it was successful. Would something similar work for you? What can you learn from this person? This isn’t about copying someone exactly, that is unethical and we’re better than that, it is about seeing what works and what doesn’t. Then putting your own wonderful, gorgeous spin on it.

Now that you know the antidote to ‘compare-itis’, I’d love to hear how you have applied it in your life. In the comments section below, tell me what you have been comparing yourself with and what happened when you applied the three tips mentioned above. Remember to NOT judge yourself. Be gentle and acknowledge that you are doing the best you can with what you know.

And if you are interested, I did the City 2 Surf in 1 hour and 39 minutes. Next year, my goal will be to train for the race and to do a time of 90 minutes. I can do it!!

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